Supermodel Tatjana Patitz Dead at 56

Tatjana Patitz, one of the original supermodels of the late-‘80s and ‘90s has died, her agent confirmed. Scroll down to read about Tatjana's iconic career that spanned decades.

By Alexandra Bellusci Jan 11, 2023 9:16 PMTags
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The modeling world is mourning one of the original supermodels.

Tatjana Patitz, one of the top models of the ‘80s and ‘90s has died, her agent Corinne Nicolas, confirmed to the Associated Press on Jan. 11. She was 56.

While the agent noted to the outlet that Tatjana died following an illness, a cause of death has yet to be revealed.

The German-born model launched her career in the mid-‘80s, where she met longtime collaborator, photographer Peter Lindbergh, who captured Tatjana often throughout her career, including in his famed 1988 photo "White Shirts: Six Supermodels, Malibu" as well as the 1990 British Vogue cover—also featuring Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington—all of whom are referred to as the "original supermodels."

It was this iconic cover of the five—dubbed the "original supermodels"—that led to George Michael casting them in his "Freedom '90" music video that year. Throughout her career, Tatjana modeled for brands such as Chanel, Donna Karan and Vivienne Westwood, and took to the runway for her last show at Milan Fashion Week in 2019. She walked for fashion house Etro, for their Autumn/Winter 2019/20 collection.


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Though in most recent years, the model made her mark on the pages of Vogue alongside her son Jonah Johnson, 19, whom she shares with ex-husband Jason Johnson. The two were pictured at their ranch in Santa Ynez Valley in 2012 and again in 2019 as a mother-son duo for a Tina Barney portfolio.

While reflecting on her life and career to the magazine in 2022, Tatjana shared, "Jonah is my source of happiness."


Following the news of Tatjana's passing, Anna Wintour, the chief content officer of Condé Nast and global editorial director of Vogue, reflected on her legacy.

"Tatjana was always the European symbol of chic, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti," she said to Vogue. "She was far less visible than her peers—more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable—and that had its own appeal."

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